Meriden offers a wide variety of sport opportunities for girls. Inter-school sporting competitions and extra subject courses are regarded as an important part of a girl’s physical and social development. Meriden fosters the love and enjoyment of an active lifestyle by encouraging students to participate in both competitive and non-competitive sports. A fitness program is also available for girls who would like additional physical activity.
The school has an outstanding record of sporting achievement and students have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of sports, with some students participating at state, national and international level. Meriden’s proximity to Homebush Olympic Park makes it an ideal school for girls who compete at an elite level. To cater for the specific needs of elite sports students, Meriden offers a special program in the Senior School, called the Olympus Program.
Meriden’s team of coaches are professionals who have achieved at the top of their chosen sport. Many have competed on the international circuit and some have represented Australia at the Olympic Games. Meriden’s sports coaches are dedicated to teaching and inspiring their students to achieve beyond their expectations to become the best they can be.
The Meriden Sports App is used to communicate to families important information about sports including draw releases, draw changes, venue changes and cancellations. The App is the main method of communication throughout the various sports seasons in the Senior and Junior Schools. The Meriden Sports App can be downloaded from the App Store, Play Store and Windows Store.Click here for further instructions.
Junior School students participate in a comprehensive PDHPE program which encourages them to develop the knowledge, skills, values and attitude needed to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Each class engages in weekly Personal Development and Health sessions that promote all aspects of wellbeing, including social, emotional, spiritual and physical health. Through regular Physical Education lessons, students develop skills in a variety of physical activities and are equipped with knowledge to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
The Cocurricular Sport program promotes fitness and teamwork in a fun environment. All students have the opportunity to participate in several sports during their time in the Junior School and the wide range of sporting activities means that each girl can discover a sport that she enjoys. These activities include athletics, basketball, cross country, dance, diving, gymnastics, hockey/minkey, netball, football (soccer), touch football, swimming and tennis. Those students with a high level of sporting ability are offered a pathway to compete at higher levels through IPSHA (Independent Primary School Heads Association), Combined Independent Schools (CIS), and NSW State representation at School Sport Australia.
Inter-school sport is not compulsory in the Junior School; however, participation is encouraged and there is always strong voluntary participation and enthusiasm from our students. Any girl from Years 4 to 6 can be involved in Saturday sport. Meriden participates in the IPSHA Saturday morning competition, which enables the girls to compete with other girls’ schools at venues in Sydney. In addition to the games held on Saturdays, team members are required to attend one training session per week.
The sports that are played during the year are:
- Term 1: 5-a-Side Football (Soccer)
- Term 2: Hockey/Minkey
- Term 3: Netball or Touch Football
- Term 4: Tennis or Basketball
A Sports Club is offered to girls in Years 2 and 3 who wish to be involved. It is held on a weekday afternoon and enables the students to experience the sports that are available for them to play when they reach Year 4.
Students may also participate in the following extracurricular activities which are operated by external providers:
- Group or private Tennis lessons through Meriden Tennis Academy
- Artistic Gymnastics through the Australian Academy of Gymnastics
- Dance through Elevate Performing Arts
- Learn to Swim lessons and squads through Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre
- Diving lessons through Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre/Meriden
- Water Polo development clinics
Senior School students participate in a variety of sporting competitions including the Independent Girls Schools Sports Association (IGSSA) which organises Saturday morning competitions and carnivals throughout the year. Senior School students can participate in the following sports through the IGSSA competitions:
- Cross Country
- Football (Soccer)
- Gymnastics – Artistic and Rhythmic
- Touch Football
- Water Polo
Badminton has recently been introduced at Meriden and from Term 1 2018, Meriden girls will participate in the Badminton Saturday competition which is run by Loreto Normanhurst.
Students in Years 7 and 8 are required to undertake at least two Saturday Sports per year. In Years 9 - 12, the majority of students choose to participate in one or more sports each year. The high level of participation in Sport at Meriden creates an enthusiastic and energetic environment in which good sportsmanship prevails.
The Meriden Tennis Academy caters for players from first-timers through to Australian ranked players (and every level in between). Under the guidance of Head Coach, Mr Ross Anton, all students are given the opportunity to learn and develop new skills. The Meriden Elite Tennis Program is designed for students with Australian Rankings and aims to assist them in combining the demands of school work and training.
The Meriden tennis team has won the Tildesley Shield Tennis tournament for eight consecutive years and has been selected to represent Australia at the biennial World Schools Tennis Challenge on three occasions. After securing the bronze medal in 2013, they were named World Schools Tennis Champions at the 2015 Challenge held in Qatar. The 2017 Challenge will be held in Brazil.
Meriden’s Water Polo players achieve outstanding success at both team and individual levels. Over the past decade, the Senior Firsts have been grand finalists in the highly competitive IGSSA Water Polo S01 division on several occasions and have been crowned champions four times.
Many of the players are selected to represent New South Wales and Australia in competitions. Within the past few years, Meriden has generated more than thirty state representatives and eight Australian representatives.
Under the guidance of Water Polo Coordinator, Mr Ryan Richards, Meriden’s Water Polo program develops students from Year 5 through to Year 12 across all levels. Students receive high quality professional coaching from experienced coaches who include current and former Australian representatives and Olympians.
Meriden’s Athletics program has gone from strength to strength under the guidance of triple Olympian Ms Nicole Boegman-Stewart. The program aims to promote and encourage the sport of Track and Field within the school. It allows the girls the opportunity to develop their athletic potential in all disciplines with year round training and competition and access to specialist coaches. In 2016, Meriden improved significantly at the IGSSA Athletics Championships to be awarded the 2016 trophy for the Most Improved School, allowing it to move up a division in 2017.
Representation at the NSWCIS athletics level doubled in 2016. Six were named in the NSWCIS merit team and several girls went on to win medals at the NSW All Schools Track and Field Championships. Meriden also fielded teams in the Athletics NSW Schools Knockout and Schools Relays competitions and have come away with a number of team medals from those respective events.